The tiny Balkan nation of Montenegro responded Thursday to US President Donald Trump's remark that it is a "very aggressive" country by saying it was proud of its "peaceful politics" and "stabilizing" influence in the region. Despite sending troops from its 2,000-strong military to support the US-led mission in Afghanistan, the tiny Balkan state has suffered slights at the hand of Trump, including when he shoved aside Prime Minister Dusko Markovic at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting a year ago.
The latest example came Monday when Tucker Carlson asked President Trump this question on Fox News after Trump's summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
Trump said Tuesday he meant to say "I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russian Federation", when asked about Moscow's interference in the 2016 election - as opposed to "would". "They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you're in world war three", Trump added in the interview. "President Trump congratulates the Montenegrin people for their resilience and their demonstrated commitment to NATO's democratic values". "They are very aggressive people".
Montenegro may fan concerns in the White House about starting World War III but the Balkan nation has a recent history of the opposite - well-versed and successful in dealing with tensions between USA and Russian Federation.
Other observers were quick to recall the incident at the tour of Nato's new headquarters in May 2017, when video footage showed Trump shoving Prime Minister Dusko Markovic aside in order to stand close to the alliance's head Jens Stoltenberg.
Darmanovic agreed that Trump's comments would be welcomed in Moscow.
Critics have accused him of siding with Russian Federation over his own country by failing to criticize Moscow for what US intelligence agencies a year ago described as Moscow's interference in the 2016 election in an attempt to sow discord, aid Trump's candidacy and disparage Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
Whether or not it was intentional, singling out Montenegro was a curious choice for both Carlson and Trump.
Multiple Fox News personalities criticized Trump for his behavior during the press conference, with Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto calling it "disgusting".
The government also said "the friendship and alliance of Montenegro and the United States of America is strong and permanent".
LePage says in a U.S. Embassy video that the Balkans have a hard history but "everybody likes Montenegro". "Now I understand that, but that's the way it was set up".
"Article 5 has only been invoked once, in support of the USA after the 9/11 attacks".
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said late on July 16 that Trump was wrong to question once again the conclusions of the U.S. Justice Department and intelligence agencies that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.
Colbert as Trump reacted, "Montenegro?"
"Montenegrins are not aggressive ... but the nation of fearless warriors", he said. While U.S. defence spending makes up 70 per cent of combined allied governments' military budgets, just 15 per cent of U.S. expenditure is spent in Europe on NATO-related defence.